Endress+Hauser Environmental Industry Manager Alan Vance comments on the annual State of the Industry for Pumps & Systems.
What is the biggest pain point of your customers?
As with other industries there are always pain points to deal with and certainly W&WW is no exception. Available funding for capital projects is very important to start. Once funding is available, municipalities then have to prioritize and decide which projects to move forward with, etc. On the drinking water side, water loss is a big concern and installing magnetic flowmeters like the Endress+Hauser Proline Promag L 400 helps the municipality accurately measure water flows and total gallons pumped. In addition, these flowmeters incorporate Heartbeat-Verification which allows the plant to verify the meter against its original calibration without interrupting the process or removing the meter from the line.
What will the new infrastructure bill mean to the water/wastewater industry in 2019?
Most likely we will not see much impact in 2019 due to the long project cycle from start to completion that takes place in W&WW. That being said, investment by the federal government (EPA) for water and wastewater infrastructure projects is very positive. Many municipalities have aging plants, piping networks, pumping stations, outdated control systems and communications that need to be overhauled and updated. Plants are having to meet tighter permit levels which requires additional process instrumentation and controls.
Is there anything on the horizon (new products?) that will increase safety for chemical processing?
In W&WW many chemicals are used to produce clean drinking water or to treat wastewater that is used for irrigation or pumped back into rivers and lakes. Accurate dosing of these chemicals requires a flowmeter with both high accuracy and repeatability such as an Endress+Hauser Coriolis flowmeter. Coriolis flowmeters provide the customer with the highest process safety while offering the highest accuracy of any flow measurement technology, typically in the range of 0.05%-0.1%. This dosing is usually done at very low flow rates which require a very small Coriolis meter, such as our newly redesigned Promass A. Our Promass A is available in a variety of sizes all the way down to 1/24” making it the perfect fit for chemical dosing applications.
In addition, many chemicals are stored in plastic tanks or totes and with the advancement in radar level technology like the Endress+Hauser FMR20 series, plants can now measure the tank level without having to penetrate the top of the tank. This ensures a safer working environment as it reduces the possibility of chemical spills and mitigates the risk of operators being exposed to chemical vapors.
We offer a full line of recorders to capture process data to optimize and control the usage of chemicals which can result in cost savings for the customer. We recently released a DIN rail-mounted recorder, the RSG45, which can also act as a gateway. For example, the customer can send up to 20 analog inputs to the RSG45 which can then transmit the data via EtherNet/IP.
Is there anything else you would like to address?
Endress+Hauser recently launched e-Commerce on its website, us.endress.com. The new e-commerce functionalities on the website transforms us.endress.com into a cooperative platform that connects customers directly to us.
Our customers can access their personalized section on our homepage and conduct operations within a few minutes and with much less effort than in the past. The platform allows customers to purchase online and provides 24/7 access to detailed information directly on the website, for both online and offline orders. It offers a personalized shopping experience where customers can access RFQs, quotes and orders all in one place.
I know you guys are doing a lot to recruit highly engaged employees. Why is that important to Endress+Hauser?
(The answer to this question was provided by Don Cummings, Technical Talent Development Manager, Endress+Hauser.)
The importance of engaged employees cannot be overstated. In an industry where client companies ask us to do more complex things every year (and more of those things), employees must be willing to grow, learn and want to help us do those new things. Technical skills are important, but alone they do not create success.